Paulie (1998)

Paulie Poster

Paulie, an intelligent parrot who actually talks, relates the story of his struggle to a Russian immigrant who works as a janitor at the research institute where he is housed and neglected. Paulie's story begins many years earlier when he is given as a gift to a little girl who stutters. Eventually, he teaches the girl to speak correctly but is taken away by her father because he believes the girl cannot distinguish fantasy from reality because she believes the bird can talk. Paulie goes through a series of adventures with a pawn shop owner, an aging widow, a Mexican-American troubadour and a would be thief before being taken to the institute where he now lives

Summary of Plot
"Paulie", released in 1998, is a family comedy-drama directed by John Roberts. This captivating film focuses on a smart and witty parrot, Paulie, who has the special ability to talk in actual human speech. The movie tells the touching story of Paulie's life as he comes across a number of owners and experiences various emotional ups and downs while on a quest to reunite with his very first owner, a little lady named Marie.

Opening Scene and Introduction of Paulie
The movie starts at a research laboratory where Misha Vilyenkov, a Russian janitor, discovers Paulie restricted in a cage. Paulie tells his life story to Misha, which basically initiates the framing narrative. The tale starts with Paulie living in New Jersey with Marie, a little girl with a stammer who was talented Paulie to assist her with her speech. As their bond deepens, Paulie even helps Marie find out to speak correctly. However, when Paulie's effort to assist Marie face her fear of heights results in a mishap, Marie's protective daddy provides Paulie away, injecting the separation that frames the rest of the movie.

The Journey Begins
After being separated, Paulie starts a heartbreaking yet adventurous journey throughout the USA to discover Marie. Along the way, he deals with different eccentric owners, including a wannabe artist named Benny and a lonesome painter named Ivy. While these people deal with Paulie as a family and friend member, circumstances still force him to continue his journey. After Ivy's death, Paulie gets taken by her greedy step-niece, who ends up offering him to an unscrupulous pawn shop owner.

Go back to Marie
The most intriguing part of the film is the penultimate phase where Paulie becomes part of a conman's lucrative stint, being required to find out Spanish in order to take part in small criminal activities. The last turning point of Paulie's journey is his participation in a 'Talking Bird' spectacle. His heartfelt speech on phase reveals his true sensations and longing for Marie, which gets him into more problem however lastly leads him back to his cherished owner.

Paulie's Reunion and Conclusion
In the finale, Misha, moved by Paulie's story, chooses to assist the parrot reunite with Marie. They get away the research laboratory and, after a serendipitous encounter with Benny, discover Marie, now an adult and married with a daughter. The emotional reunion strikes home as it resonates with the audiences' yearning for the very same throughout the movie.

The film ends on a happy note as Paulie happily stays with Marie and her family, keeping periodic contact with Misha. The conclusion finishes up the film successfully as it accommodates the audience's anticipation of Paulie's reunion with Marie, while showing the long-lasting bond between human beings and their animals and the profound impact it can have on their lives.

"Paulie" is a heartwarming and melancholic tale of friendship, ultimate love, and persistence. Combining adventure, household drama, and comedic turns, this visually charming movie mesmerizes audiences of any ages with the emotional journey of a parrot who becomes a bridge linking different human lives while embarking on his own mission for love and belonging. Gena Rowlands, Tony Shalhoub, Cheech Marin, and Bruce Davison bring vibrancy to the film aided by the voice skill of Jay Mohr as Paulie. The film not just evokes a sense of endearment towards the talking parrot but likewise provides an intricate depiction of human relations and emotions.

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